Two women to stand as umpires in ECB Premier League match
Anna Harris, Yvonne Dolphin-Cooper set to officiate this weekend in what is believed to be a first for the league
Two women are set to stand as umpires in an ECB Premier League match this weekend in what is believed to be a first for the league.
Anna Harris and Yvonne Dolphin-Cooper will umpire Downend's home West of England Premier League clash with Bedminster in Gloucestershire. The pair will also stand in the South Wales Premier League match between St Fagans and Pontarddulais the following weekend.
After searching record books and speaking to people involved in the game across England and Wales, the ECB could find no record of an all-female duo officiating an ECB Premier League match.
Gloucestershire County Cricket Board hoped that the two appointments would "highlight the fact that a growing number of women are now umpiring, and to encourage even more women to consider officiating at all levels of the sport".
Dolphin-Cooper, 64, is well known as an umpire on the WEPL circuit as well as for officiating in visually impaired cricket, including an international between England and India. Harris, a 22-year-old Cardiff-based medical student who also plays cricket for Wales, has stood in the Thames Valley League for three summers and completed a season in Melbourne. Both umpired during last year's inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
In March, Harris told ESPNcricinfo about her experiences of umpiring men's matches just a couple of months after Australian Claire Polosak became the first woman in 144 years to officiate in a men's Test match when she was the fourth umpire for the third Test between Australia and India in Sydney.
Chris Fortune, West of England Premier League vice-chair, said the league was proud to have Dolphin-Cooper and Harris stand in this weekend's game.
"Congratulations to both of our on-field officials, and for all of their hard work and commitment to their roles over a number of years," Fortune said. "Our thanks also go to Downend CC and Bedminster CC for facilitating this momentous day."